Thursday, April 28, 2016

MEOW: A Book of Happiness for Cat Lovers - Book Review

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I don't often review books as you've no doubt noticed but MEOW: A Book of Happiness for Cat Lovers was screaming to be read. It's a very simple concept, really, quotes about cats from famous people, each accompanied by a beautiful color photo of a cat.

First published in 2014 in Australia and New Zealand, it has finally been released in the U.S. and Canada. MEOW has been brought out here in paperback, however, from the size and look it is a coffee table book. It was likely originally a Hardcover book. According to the press release, it was written by a cat loving book editor, Anouska Jones. I kept looking for her byline in the book since it wasn't on the cover but couldn't seem to locate it. 

The book opens with an introduction, the only part of the book specifically written for the book.  I was pleased to see Jones' enthusiasm for cats and can believe that she wrote it with her beloved cat on her desk. In the midst of describing cats is the one word with which I found fault - she gave in to the Old Wives' Tale and referred to cats as "independent."  This is a total misconception since cats are independent hunters not independent companions. It's hard to say why so many people don't identify their cat's play for attention for what it is. You're reading and the cat is on the book. You're at the computer and the cat is walking across the keyboard. You take a nap and your cat is on top of you. These are ways of expressing how much your cat wants to be with you. Those who know their unconditional love and appreciate cats will love this book.

That said, the book is wonderful. Anouska Jones has compiled some of everyone's favorite quotes about cats from such notables as Ernest Hemingway, Jules Verne, Pablo Picasso and Mark Twain. Each quote has a gorgeous color photo on the facing page. 

MEOW A Book of Happiness for Cat Owners will delight cat lovers who will find the quotes resonating with them as they enjoy the beautiful cat photographs. This delightful book would make a wonderful gift for a cat loving friend or for yourself. You can put it out on your coffee table or on the nightstand in your guest room. 

MEOW A Book of Happiness for Cat Owners by Anouska Jones is published by EXISLE and distributed in the U.S. by QDS. 

ISBN: 978  925335 08 8    March 2016
$11.95 in the U.S  $13.99 in Canada   
Paperback   160 Pages

 NOTE:  I was not monetarily compensated for this book review.  I received a review copy of the book in order to read it for review.  The opinions expressed in this blog post review are mine alone.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Whisker Stress & Last Week's Contest Winners!

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Vibrissae. That is the technical name for a cat's whiskers. These amazing whiskers are not what you think. They are not fancy decorations, or just facial hair growth. They are embedded quite deeply into the cat and reach the muscular and nervous systems, providing a truly remarkable sense of their surroundings. Did you ever wonder how your cat can find his way around in the the dark when you are stumbling until you see the night light? Her whiskers tell her everything she needs to know.  They are extremely sensitive and you may also notice some sticking up like eyebrows. They are extremely sensitive.  If you didn't know this before, I want to you to know it now because, as a cat owner, you must be aware of their sensitivity in order to keep kitty happy and healthy. The position of your cat's whiskers will also tell you what her mood is like. If she's chasing a toy or another cat around the house, you'll see that her whiskers are forward, as they will be when she's startled. When she's relaxed, her whiskers will be in a normal position.  

Photo Courtesy of Lisette Brodey

What has made me even more aware of this sensitivity and the thought that my readers might not understand, was a recent trip to my local pet supply store, part of a large National chain. I was buying food for Aimee and as I came around the aisle, I saw and end cap display of cat dishes. The problem with this prominent display is that there were only a couple of dishes - almost the entire display consisted of bowls, may of them with cat designs on them. Innocent owners buy them without knowing that that's the last thing you should buy for your cat. It's nearly impossible to find a photo of a proper feeding dish for a cat. They are almost exclusively bowls. Why is this wrong?
Photo Courtesy of Claire Clayton

Cats are not dogs. Dogs do very well eating from a bowl. Cats, however, find their very sensitive whiskers rubbing against the bowl with every mouthful of food. Is it any wonder that some of these cats scoop out the food with their paw and put it on the floor to eat? Owners think this is some sort of cat trick, or a weird idiosyncrasy. No, it's not. The cat cannot be comfortable eating from a bowl. Imagine having something hurt you every time you ate. You wouldn't be very happy, would you? It puts stress on the cat.

The correct feeding dish for a cat is wider and has very low sides, or you can use a plate. Plates don't have to match your dinnerware. You can find perfectly acceptable plates in discount stores. Be sure that they are safe for you cat.  

As for the water dish, a neighbor recently asked me why Aimee's dish could be a swimming pool for a  cat whose weight hovers between 8 and 9 pounds. Simple: whisker stress. So what if it was meant for a big dog?  She loves it. The same with a water fountain. The big one is preferable to a small one for a cat's whiskers.
Photo Courtesy of Shara Rendell-Smock

And one more warning: Do NOT ever cut your cat's whiskers! Don't interfere with feline whiskers. You can look, you can admire them, but for cat's sake, leave them alone!

Now for the winners of last week's contest

Each has won one of Morris The Cat's Well-Groomed Kitty Kits Provided by Morris and his human friends at 9 Lives Cat Food!  

Drum Roll Please!  

And The Winners Are:

Lisette Brodey



Congratulations, Ladies!  Please e-mail me via my website: with your mailing address so Morris can have his personal assistants get a kit off to each of you!  Thank you for entering the contest!!